Tokyo Hosts 65th Annual International Bartenders Association World Cocktail Championship

Tokyo was the backdrop for last month’s 65th annual International Bartenders Association World Cocktail Championship. Hosted by the Nippon Bartenders Association, this year’s event was the biggest in the history of the competition with 65 countries participating from around the world. After qualifying at this year’s Nightclub & Bar Shake It Up competition, Las Vegas Chapter member Dario Doimo and Chicago Chapter member Egor Polonskiy represented the USBG during two days of action-packed cocktailing.



Las Vegas Chapter member Dario Doimo competes in the IBA WCC Flairtending Competition.


Chicago Chapter member Egor Polonskiy competes in the Classic Cocktail: Bartender's Choice Competition.


The first day was dedicated to Flairtending and the second was dedicated to Classic Cocktails in the categories of: Bartender’s Choice, Long Drink, Sparkling Drink, Short Drink and After Dinner Drink.

“Our competitors performed very well with both of them advancing to the final round,” said USBG National President David Nepove. “Dario took home 4th place in the Flairtending competition and Egor received 3rd place honors in Classic Cocktail: Bartender’s Choice.”



Polonskiy, USBG President David Nepove and Doimo at the IBA World Cocktail Competition.


The cocktail slinging culminated in the Super Final, where the home team’s Kenji Tsubokura of Japan took home the IBA Bartender of the Year title.


Japan's Kenji Tsubokura's winning cocktail.


Nepove was in attendance representing the USBG at the General Presidents' meeting and as the head of the Rules Committee. The slate of the newest rules were accepted and Nepove was honored to accept the position of the head of next year’s Education Committee, which will spearhead modernizing the education program of the IBA.


Presidents representing 65 countries around the world met at the General Meeting during the IBA WCC.


Nepove and the competitors were also joined by USBG Executive Director Aaron Gregory Smith and Northeastern Regional Vice President Jonathan Pogash.

Next year’s competition takes place in Copenhagen, and the U.S. is in contention to hold the 2019 competition in San Francisco.

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